Eagle County BMX hosts state qualifier races
Unveil Phil Soderstrom fund for athletes in need
You know what they say: Fourth time’s a charm.
After two schedule shufflings and a May snowstorm prevented Eagle County BMX from hosting its state race on the first three tries, a large turnout of fans and athletes flooded the track in Eagle on the fourth try last Friday and Saturday.
“It finally went off — it turned out great!” said Christie Noteware, who assists Jay Lucas with track operations.
“There were a lot of really fast kids.”
On Friday, 114 riders raced across 26 motos at a double-points race, with 225 riders competing in 46 motos for Saturday’s state race, the second of the season. With 11 tracks in Colorado, athletes have to race five state races plus the finals in order to be eligible for a state plate. The action heads to Dacono BMX on Saturday and Twin Silo BMX on Sunday for the next two state events.
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One of the highlights of the weekend was the unveiling of the Phil Soderstrom Scholarship Fund. Soderstrom was a fixture in the Colorado BMX community and passed away from COVID this winter.
“He was amazing. He was like the grandfather of BMX,” Noteware said.
“Since 2008, Phil Soderstrom has been bringing his grandson Ethan Taylor to Grand Valley BMX. Through the years, Phil and Ethan have been at the track week in and week out. Often accompanied by his wife Rita, Phil was a staple at the track,” Grand Valley BMX Facebook page posted on Dec. 19, 2021.
“A lot of us knew him and respected him and would ask him anything. He’s been in the sport longer than some of us have been alive,” added Noteware.
A lap in Phil’s honor and a moment of silence were planned for the weekend’s festivities, but an illness in the family prevented either from happening. Noteware said the scholarship fund, which is intended to break down any financial barriers to competing in BMX, has raised $900 thus far and is hoping to cover 1-2 scholarships per year.
“We want kids on bikes, we want kids outside and getting exercise and this is a great way to help the less-fortunate,” she said, noting that those who wish to donate can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The fund saw its first recipient over the weekend. His $60 annual membership fee, $50 state race fee, and $12 weekly race fees have all been covered.
Eagle County BMX has hosted two camps this summer, and Noteware estimates that the group has gained about 20 new riders. They also started a Strider Race series for athletes 5-years-old and younger. The “Moontime Strider Race Series” runs Tuesday nights at 6:30. The Grand Finale race will include a new BMX bike as the first-place prize.
“One of the greatest parts of BMX is that it is a family sport,” Noteware said.
“Not just the people from our track — the entire Colorado BMX community. Everyone was more than willing to jump in and help us with our race from staging, to scoring and everything in between.”